ALAPO Microfinance Bank Limited disbursed a total of N43, 292,829, 213 as loan to its customers between January 1 and November 30 this year.
The credit advanced through its 303 branches across 27 states was expected to hit N46 billion by December 31, The figure is predicted to grow rapidly in 2013 on the strength of the bank’s partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the World Bank.
On November 14, the corporation signed a $5 million credit agreement with the microfinance bank to boost its lending capacity.
Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said the IFC’s loan would go a long way in boosting the bank’s liquidity.
He said the bank’s non-performing loan stands at about 1.5 per cent while it hopes to improve on the performance through better due diligence.
LAPO is aggressively pursuing a set of programmes and innovations expected to position it as a leading microfinance institution in Africa.
Ehigiamusoe said the programmes are pursued under its five-year strategy framework (covering 2013 – 2017) when it hopes to emerge as Africa’s largest grassroots microfinance with five million customers.
The strategy, he said, would centre on technology, clients, products/ services, human resources and performance management.
Ehigiamusoe disclosed that the bank has invested huge resources on technology, part of which is the development of new software it hopes to roll out soon.
The chief executive also disclosed at a yearly media interactive section last week that LAPO has signed an agreement with AFOS-Foundation of Germany for the purpose of training a new set of professionals that would take over the bank’s affairs in the next five to 10 years.
Already, it has commenced a strategic recruitment process where, on yearly basis, it engages 10 young graduates who are subjected to one-year intensive training in different aspects of micro financing. The pioneer trainees amongst who are Masters’ Degree holders from the Lagos Business School joined the bank this year.
Ehigiamusoe said the fresh employees would not handle official responsibilities until they have completed the rigorous training carried out in and outside the country.
“The main aim of the project is to improve the efficiency of the bank with particular emphasis on creating a pool of well-trained middle management staff that will effectively manage the new phase of expansion,” he said.
The LAPO boss said the sector urgently needs intellectual leadership, saying, “this is one of the most critical challenges facing the industry.”
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